On this regional public affairs program, guests John Moe, general manager of the Employee Assistance Program with Control Data Corporation; and Professor Jack Flagler, director of Labor Education at the University of Minnesota and arbitrator for several state and federal mediation services, discuss the subject of employment and alcoholism treatment.
Moe and Flagler also answer listener calls.
Read the Text Transcription of the Audio.
There is an angel Japanese saying about alcohol that goes first man takes drink then the drink takes a drink then the drink takes the mat. Unfortunately drinking inhibits the lives of many American the National Institute on alcohol abuse after maester at least 9 million alcoholics in the United States and 1 and 11 drinkers has a problem alcoholism pervades every sector of American society this morning on the public affairs hour going to discuss alcoholism and Industry with regard to both management and the workforce.The National Council on alcoholism says excess drinking cost business at least 10 billion dollars annually to absenteeism on-the-job accidents reduced productivity medical payments bad judgment and replacement training. With me this morning in the studio art Professor Jack Flagler director of Labor education at the University of Minnesota and an arbitrator for several state and federal mediation services and John Moore general manager of the employee assistance program with the Twin Cities Control Data company Control Data Corporation isetts should say. Let me ask the first question of what is your company doing to combat employee alcoholism when you get into the into the area, well, basically our program started in 1973 with a concentrated effort on employee alcoholism by providing an alcoholism counselor within the context the corporation in 1974. We expanded the alcohol program into what we would call a troubled employee or employer systems concept where we made the counseling and helping resources available to the total population regardless of problem, but that should be clear that are Call program is encompassed within that broad brush program. We expanded from the alcoholism program to the broader program called employee assistance to help deal with some of the problems at the alcoholic brings forward such as Financial legal marital type issues it somehow easier for the individual to present that type of problem as opposed to presenting an alcoholism problem. So we expand of the program that only to deal with those problems that directly but to also work more effectively with the alcoholic some of the options that problem. Are you employed about 12,000 people in the Twin Cities area? Is that correct? How many people since 1973 have come to you and and expressed an interest in the program. So they wanted to go through what we've had that we make our program available Nationwide. We have a 32 to 33 thousand employees Nationwide the program is open to both employees and their families since 1973. We've had rough. 12000 individuals come forward for assistance of that number approximately 11% I presented the problem as alcoholism. When does employee drinking become a problem for the company? Well from a company standpoint, it becomes that it's an individual problem. Of course if the employee is having difficulty in his personal life. I were generally concerned about that because we do believe that it will eventually show up on the job. We involve ourselves when it does show up on the job or the individual voluntarily comes forward and indicates that he has a problem when does drinking become a problem for a worker in a colleague who depend upon him? What the problem is the constant for the problem Drinker as far as the other workers are concerned because it expresses itself in terms of the safety aspects expresses itself. In terms of the sense of group workers find themselves in a very awkward situation when they perceive that one of the following workers has a drinking problem is expressing it and the job context do they suggest something to the supervisor in the way of a call for help and not of the the Supposed to risk be reduced they do that. Are they turning a brother or sister worker in leading them to loss of their jobs very difficult situation for worker to find themselves in and it's a constant phenomena. It's a part of the Furnishings of holding a job today any place. Maybe I should have a question by saying that before becoming an arbitrator and the professor at the University that you were a steel worker for a number of years and you were the president of the Union Local. I understand you have some examples that you might be able to point out a situation where you worked with people who had a drinking problem what some of the threats posed where you worked in a in a few years ago was considered to be a fairly hazardous industry in there still a chance for a people to become injured on the job. I imagine that has some problem The way of life, in fact, the employer was part of that total environment. I can remember that the employer was more concerned about people dropping from heat exhaustion then dropping from alcoholism. So it was standard to bring in cases of cold beer and when men were on the pouring Florida golfer and down a full cord of beer without taking it from their lips after pouring hot steel or a gray iron. What was the problem as far as the entire Workforce was concerned it was the thing to do when you finished up in the shops and the gates flew open for substantial part of that work for us, maybe half to make that way to the nearest bar. Smoke filled with points Suffocation and to spend an hour or more before returning home drinking. And so was the cast of Problem. I think probably the incidence of alcoholism in the steel industry and in The Foundry industry is substantially above the average yet another Industries today. Yes, John just described a sophisticated alcoholism at least a reference program. Although control dad doesn't run its own Inpatient service. Of course, was there anything that approached what he described in the days when you were working absolutely nothing. There was no help given to the problem Drinker at all and the union found itself in a very awkward position on this. Any worker who was disciplined because of problem drinking had a claim on his Union to represent him in that grievance procedure or in the arbitration process that may have Captain and the union had no way of backing out of it. Even if the union recognized that keeping the guy on the job was in the worse than first of that individual very often we felt we were grieving this person right into his grave. Are the other hand we were keeping him in and a job where because of the drinking problem fellow workers were exposed to very substantial hazards. It's a tough dangerous industry the why do we represent them? Because in the alternative if we didn't represent them the union was liable to action at court for failure of fair representation. Secondly, we had no resources to accomplish your diagnosis. We didn't know whether this was in fact, alcoholism. Who are we as late persons to arrogate to ourselves such a diagnosis particularly, if you didn't grieve for it for this person. There was the question of his civil and human rights to due process and full hearing no resources were in place to deal with the problem 20 years ago. All right, but we want to update the union situation and pursue the question of the Dilemma posed that you describe for co-workers as well as the possibility of a job loss a little bit later when we get into that question. I want to go back to John for a moment and in the work situation John whose business is it to identify an alcoholic employee is is a readily identifiable. Where do you find that most people come to you unsolicited? Well, we happen to have the majority of the people coming to us unsolicited. Even though with the alcoholic that's less true. Then I was some other problem areas when you talk of identifying the person we raise the kind of hard area21 of definition probably when we talked we asked her supervisors to be aware of slipping job performance the changes in attitudes and job Behavior, but we certainly don't want them to even suggest that they're going to identify. The person is alcoholic. We have alcoholism counselors on the staff who will make an attempt at that, but even they will once they determine that the individual has a problem go with a professional treatment resource to really get down to identifying whether the person is in fact alcoholic or not going to talk of identifying if it's seeing the job problem. We would rely on the supervisor and I want to get stuck on identifying alcoholic. It's so much more touchy area. You find that in the case where someone doesn't approach you and say I have a problem that there is a defensiveness when it's pointed out to that person that their job performance is lacking. Will very definitely. Definitely that they will respond back that management is you know, not not well-enough trained to judge job performance at the supervisor is a picking on the person that it's an individual problem area that it's part of the workforce of the workflow that's creating the problem as opposed to the individual himself. So it's a very much a defensive reaction as you would expect you'll never find a situation where an employer say what is management trying to freeze me out what's going on here. Oh definitely the man is trying to walk them out individually what sort of strategy to use to deal with that problem when you contact to family members or try to bring in a disinterested party or what? Well, we do it bring it in it as we would call a disinterested party in the sense of the employee assistance program counselor who would come in and and a deal with individual if he is referred to us for some help. We'll deal with it in the Confidentially and the service would be voluntary. So we would talk personally across a table with individual try to figure out where the problem fact that did lie. If the individual chose not to utilize a service or be open and free in the discussion that would stay on the table. The person goes back in the job environment and is subjected to hopefully normal and regular and good management and supervision at we ask for documented work performance problems before we would deal with individual directly. We don't ask for hypothesis. But what happens after work around the weekend we ask for documented and well-documented performance issues before we can deal with individual once again should individual not come forward for assistance or not choose to voluntarily accept the existence offered any goes back into work environment where he's already in trouble. Approaching employee and say hey, you're a drunk who need help who couldn't document. It wasn't qualified. So you take steps to ensure that it is the counselor who works with a person and not someone who is not well versed in the area very definitely. We we ask that none of that happened. We also make the program well aware to all employees so that they feel as if if that should happen to a saint known if an individual manager or supervisor for example, made some statements like that. We would hope the employee would call us. We try to maintain a very neutral stance within the company. We would hope the employee would call and say he is being threatened on the job. So you're saying that you're not actually identified as an as a management tool there. You're trying to get away from that and just simply be a resource exactly. We couldn't hypothesize that everybody would to see us is not a management tool, but that is definitely our stamps to be available to employees 24 hours a day 365 days a year and try not To make judgments regarding the problem just try to work with individual to a six loose that prom jackets having a beer or 7 at lunch or after work as a part of the particular steelworkers life for the iron Caster or the truck driver. Is he defensive when somebody points out that we almost ran over a kid the other day and he didn't realize it because he was just coming back from lunch tomorrow is caught up in the disease the more defensive you can expect him to be tired of the diseases. They delusionary pattern that elaborate. It defends the alcoholic in the first instance from admitting it to himself or herself. Obviously the more frightening the environment the stouter will be the defense, which is I just one of the reasons why I personally have opted for a joint labor-management approach wherever there was a union on the scene. There are persons who will go to management when credibility is been established whether a program is valid and reliable that is valid and as much as it is say yes or say of help and the monster be so reliable because it's a source of help consistently for those who turn to I fix a long while for management to establish that kind of trust building system of hierarchical authority that people perceive management the threats Put next to the problem is extremely difficult to the person who has it now to take it the next step and to admit it to a source of authority that's has the power to punish you for being the victim of the disease punish you by tournament terminating your job is asking one hell of a lot of the troubled worker. There are people nonetheless who do make their way through management when the program with high credibility has been established as in the case of Control Data. There are others who ever would find it far easier to go to the union because I trust level is existed a number of other areas of representation and they can come forward to the union expecting not punitive action sheltered as they search for a cure but my judgment the programs that work best of all are those that are based on a joint labor-management approach to diverting the worker from a disciplinary track and to attract that promises support and help and treatment. What's the incidence of progress in that area? You mentioned that these things take a long time to evolve over the years he is are there incidents or are their situation for management and labor have come together to join in? These Cooperative programs are at believe we're seeing the quantum leaf support from the governor's office. A full-time person is on the staff from the labor movement. I was just kind of her heart is working with the counterparts and management to set up such programs in firms under 200 all over the state. And this is a subsidized program. The governor's program for chemical dependency. He is from the labor movement of former business agent from the hotel restaurant workers and the Executive Board of the state Federation of Labor and it represents one visible and productive way in WhatsApp. Play Purble Place trying to respond to this problem doesn't or joint labor-management programs exist all over the state through this one instrumentality. Yeah, that's true. We've had experience primarily within the Twin City area of helping some of the smaller employers establish programs. And we know I like within Hennepin County. I believe there's like hundred new programs in the last 18 months. That's why I could have been put in its very very much a Quantum Leap Forward and it's catching on nationally not all states or Geographic areas have the same concentration or the assistance such as the governor's bill that allowed some of those the Great Leap Forward here, but they're catching on we were been around over other plants and other locations and more and more people are becoming aware of the advantage of assisting the individual and diversionary program is Jack said for assistance as opposed to discipline National perspective on the matter is the Twin Cities area Minnesota leading the way in this area going to stand if you're going to be unfortunate enough to suffer from the disease of alcohol that this is the best place in the United States to have it. Twin Cities is absolutely exemplary the number of helping organizations like the Johnson Institute, like the Saint Mary's rehab center like Northwest we have so much in the way of professional resource for treatment. Then we have a climate where the disease has been recognized increasing late for what it is in labor management rather than being treated as a moral turpitude moral weakness. Those attitudes that push the person that require more and more elaboration of the delusionary pattern that in traps the trouble Drinker. This is a marvelous place. The progress is so hard at 9. Virtually, all of the United States Minnesota has given the kind of leadership that has attracted the attention and attracted to study about this for a Hartman that feeds on itself to the Anza programs or well-known and publicity people come forward and say I'm an alcoholic and I have dealt with the problem the various treatment facilities Orwell's well-established and talk about the programs were more people begin to identify members of their families other people who are having the problem and realize that they don't stand alone that there aren't individuals are not locked out and when they see assistance they may call or they may come forward now Sports what's her to multiplies itself for the more you eat the more you make it to where the more people to come forward and use it as very a very heartening. I want to get back to Eye Treatment agencies in just a moment and how you go about selecting them and Contracting with them labor contracts. Union protection some of these other questions that we've been discussing the first I want to say that the time is exactly 10 22, you're listening to ksjn were discussing industry and alcoholism. This morning are public affairs Our Guest Jack Flagler labor arbitrator and director of Labor education at the University of Minnesota and John mold Control Data Corporation. John is general manager of the employee assistance program at Control Data. I've been asking all of the questions up till now I want to ask invite our listeners to phone in questions at this number. If you live in the Twin Cities area to to 11550 in the Twin Cities area if you have a question About alcoholism on the job to to 11550 if you live outside the Twin Cities, and I understand some of our Upstate station is my Metropolitan stations. Excuse me are with us this morning phone toll-free 1-800 +652-970-016-1022 11550 in the Twin Cities area All-State one 800-652-9700 Unfortunately, if you live in Wisconsin, we've been asked to make this announcement that Watts line is no good Northwestern Bell Cuts us off at the border. So you'll have to use your own nickel if you're calling from, Wisconsin. John you said that you can you contract with treatment agencies, how do you go about scrutinizing agencies? There's been a proliferation of treatment programs as a problem has come to be recognized. How does a company select resources that do exist? We have a couple of a trained professional chemical dependency counselors on staff and that we rely on them to search out and help select the various a treatment resources that exist Jack mentioned St. Mary's. There's Hazleton Golden Valley Northwest of many many a good treatment centers here in the area and in some other parts of the country also, we would normally go with the impatient type program that we have off and which is hospital-related type program. I or a individual set up such as Hazelton we try to go with a model that provides intensive treatment program and very good follow up or follow-up story importantly off and go with the remodeling and follow-up. We rely on our crane counselors to evaluate the agencies. We have quite a list. I would guess 50 or 60 items that we go over to make sure that the programs are in fact the type that we would like to send their employees to. All right, we have to put on there so I can hear the question. And good morning to you have a question for either Jack Flagler or John know of Control Data drinking problem. Well, it would depend if if what type of program existed if management has not demonstrated previously a concern for alcoholism or the understanding of the disease that presents a very difficult problem in our case. I meant in the case of any companies that we're an assistance program of some sort exist employee could to come forward to confidentially if they chose to to talk with the counselor about the program the concert would then most likely indicate to that individual that they should try to refer the person with the problem try to get them to come forward because I certainly wouldn't want to go on a Witch Hunt and that and find the person but it's very difficult if management doesn't have an open open door policy to deal with that issue. It's so difficult in the absence of failure program supplied by management or a joint program. They are they the problem that exists in families. There's a problem exists in the small workgroup of confronting. Somebody was within this disease and within the disguise and dilution factor that they suffer sometimes you can just start to confront by dropping a pamphlet on there a desperate their workplace from Alcoholics Anonymous a way of saying someone else is concerned that you may have this problem anonymously, it may be resented and it may be tossed aside, but there's the first bit of objective data that may be presented to someone who has absolutely a deluded themselves that there is is not the problem. If you know someone in the family of friendly and loving consultation with a spouse with a brother with a child that this problem is expressing itself in the job situation is because of your concern for the welfare of the person suffering this disease, you're bringing the problem to the attention of a spouse or a son or some other loving person is the beginning of an Intervention Program where object of data is brought before the person and if there's enough of this object of data that the bills up then it penetrates the screen of delusion of the person's I guess I am an alcoholic. Yes. I am powerless to control this disease. Yes, I am ready now for help. Alright, thank you for your call man. I want to get those numbers out once more in the Twin Cities area to to 11550 out State Minnesota. Call us toll-free at one 806-529-7002 to 11550. The Twin Cities area one 800-652-9700 State Minnesota. We have another call or standing by good morning. Do you have a question before the problem of worker advocacy? And what's in it for the worker and I wouldn't want to know if participating for Flagler has a contract with. In agreements between management labor dealing with not only the problem of alcoholism, but with any other abuses the labor contract and that's the person could answer this just as well. Thank you very much. Yes, there are labor agreements that do specify a diversion program rather than the disciplinary program and I served as a consultant to some firms. I'm not free to mention those firms because the programs are spilled new they're still being implemented. There are significant problems. There's many Union representatives. Of course who don't want to quotes grieve troubled worker into his or her grave and would welcome an opportunity to treat this through a consultative process with the employer where they can jointly agreed to identify the treatment programs that makes sense that they both agree. A counseling process that leads to a tentative diagnosis and an alternative tracking. I personally know how about a dozen such labor grievance in the Twin Cities area alone and three or four on the Iron Range at hope to see the great and one it's about a new one and the Southern Tier that I've been working at. I'd like to see a rapid growth than these contractual Arrangements that expectancy of gross employer financed treatment under a hospitalization Farms. Yes under the laws in the state of Minnesota. Alcoholism is a cupboard expanded it is an insurable coverage. Okay, John. Did you want to respond to that question? So I would agree with what Jackson? All right, we have another call or standing by the time is 10:31. Good morning around the air. I have a question about even talking about business and industry that you help people need a reason. I'm wondering if there's any if you help people friend since in a college or teaching professions if you've been involved in any school, though. Increasingly of course collective bargaining is extending itself into the teaching profession. And I know that both the teachers Federation and the Education Association are very sensitive to this problem. Alcoholism has respected. No occupation no professional group, no industrial organization. No level of income neither gender none of the races and the incidents in education is as high as the the programs that exist in education part of the governor's Bill relates to public sector employment employment agencies including schools and I hope to see a growth and systematic programming. And colleges and public schools and in private. Educational settings. Thank you for your question. John how do you send it to sensitize people to the problem? Do you have a broad-based sort of educational programs that sort of thing for everyone that exclusive those are not exclusive people who aren't directly or indirectly affected by a drinking problem. So people come to recognize it soon learn how to deal with it directly. We we find that education and awareness is is a great help in helping to deal with a disease of alcoholism. We threw the employ magazine that publish a large number of Articles to dealing with alcoholism. We provide home mailing so that the family gets an opportunity to read about the problem of alcoholism and other problems. Also, we do management awareness training we do training for employee groups awareness type training and within our new supervisors recourse. We provide 8 hours. Worth of very specific training regarding employee assistance in alcoholism. And then we've also route more recently developed the 5-Hour segment to deal with chemical dependency itself that we provide to managers. So we do try to do the whole mailings and the general awareness for the families and the employees and I do some additional management work of the science educational activities being carried on by unions the labor organizations have a group called Community Services committee. Davis in Minneapolis, and st. Paul and counselors are trained and they different the shops at construction jobs government agencies and their building in to give me the community services counselors training more and more components dealing with alcoholism and drug addiction in the whole idea is to combat the kind of Repressive an oppressive climate that demeans and diminishes the problem at treats the person suffering. This disease is being morally weak and lacking also to combat the problem of making it to the butt of humor. There's nothing funny about a person that's suffering a disease that is always chronic and always fatal. And part of the education problem is to get off this terrible notion that it's funny or that it is simply moral weakness and that it could people into recognizing that it's a disease if people come to believe that simple proof, then they'll come forward for treatment the same as if they were suffering from diabetes coronary disease or any other primary illness for which they bear no moral defect. And in fact for which there are proven as sources of help highly effective sources of help to education through management through the labor movement through Community organizations is absolutely first priority concern if we're going to make the kind of progress that we need to against this awful disease. So the unions are more and more on the offensive and we haven't got the situation you described earlier. At least to such an extent where if a worker is letting down because of a problem a drinking problem. The union will move in to protect him in fear that he would be dismissed or replaced and instead they're taking more of it and open a Viewpoint of the situation that says big generalization. The labor movement is Halle Berry body. There's something against that won't do a thing about it. They prefer to lay back in the weeds and put all the responsibility on the employer if the employer discipline somebody they come down in the employer and see fruit. This person is an alcoholic. Well as an arbitrator I can tell you it's very very difficult for an employer to prove that this person who is being disciplined does an alcoholic have the difficult kind of evidence never stand up against even their yellowest order standards of proof required when you take someone's job away from them. You got a supervisor coming forward and The first is a trunk in imagine how that stands up under cross-examination. The advocate for the discharged workers says are you a medical doctor? Are you trained in the diagnosis of alcoholism? Are you a drug counselor after a series of no, I'm not. I'm sorry. I'm not the entire testimony of the supervisor must necessarily be dismissed. So there's the problem and the union that gets into the position of strictly appearing as an advocate. But not be totally criticized for this because the laws of the land can it be very heavy penalty out of Union that doesn't provide this advocacy for a worker. They are liable to suits for failure of fair representation. If they don't come forward and offer that kind of advocacy, that's why we have to put in place in an alternative tracking for unions to represent their people and a consultative kind of council rather than sheer advocacy. So how would you recommend that the labor laws be altered to the dollar as far as the duty of fair representation is concerned matters in a nine adversary contacts. That's the only alternative that makes sense. Yeah, that would be exactly the point that through increased awareness throughout the community the families and management the unions and the community in general. We would find ourselves and not doing it in a counterproductive situation such as fighting over weather. In fact, we could prove whether the individuals alcoholic or not because sooner or later the disease disease will prove fatal to that individual we would have lost the big fight so that the clearly the better bet is to come up with a joint program. Where you working together to solve the problem we end up with a healthy Union member and the company has a healthy employ for Jack Flagler or John Mull. Self-storage / a well-organized industry. I wonder if you could let it be known that looking for the children by Disturbed parents and emotions Anonymous, but she has the same proof that program for those who have similar problems, but not necessarily alcohol are listed in the phone book and have a 24-hour answering service. Thank you. John you mentioned before the program. That's a control data has a 24-hour hotline as well. How does that work? Well, basically we put in a telephone call to telephone number to for our employees to call because we're trying to deal with a nationwide work for secondly. We finally found that the telephone offered that use of contact anonymity if that should be desired and availability at the time that the problem was recognized so happens to be one in the morning and you feel you have a problem my you can pick up the phone and they give us a call. So we put in the so-called hotline or telephone line to and I'd only be available on a nationwide basis but to provide the ease of access to our employees is working very well. We're surprised and pleased that a roughly 89% of our contacts coming this way over the telephone. We did not know if that type of service would work with an industry. We knew it did within Community such as Community hotlines for youth etcetera, but we didn't know if it would work. An industry but clearly does and if you go back through some of the advantages such as ease of access anonymity if desired to immediate availability now, you can see why it does that system. Did you Institute the phone line when you began the program in 1973 or did it come later in 74 we put in the in the phone line as we expand the program to deal with a broader population a remarkable pick up in a very definitely we we jump from probably 20 contacts month in 73 to roughly a hundred fifty a month and 74 and the last year was 400 a month so that the that the magnitude jumped dramatically the interesting thing. I think we talked about employee assistance. Generally. I think I should point out that while in fact not all the calls, of course your alcoholism that are incidents. Identifying the alcoholic employee has gone up as dramatically as the number of contacts. So we are not in any way a covering up the disease or the prophet in the workforce directly. We feel drawing it out much closer to his example being a 1973. We had roughly 13 or 14 people that we identified as alcoholic during that year 1977. We had 28 a month. So we clearly have increase the magnitude many many full to legislate encouraging. Why were talking about phone lines? I want to mention our phone number one more time, and you can call if you have a question about our topic this morning to to 11550 in the Twin Cities area to to 11550. And if you live outside the Twin Cities phone toll-free 1-800 +652-970-022-1155. They're on the Twin Cities one 800-652-9700. Let me ask what some might consider a callus question of sorts. You mentioned that there's a quite an increase in people who are responding to the service. Are we over sensitized to the problem at all where we're looking for problems where there may not be any where if you take a drinker and alcoholic now, there are a lot of rough joke circulating atoui run into a teetotaler a recovered alcoholic. There's nothing nothing worse. If you want to have a drink are we over sensitized to an extent? My feeling is that we are far from being adequately sensitised. I like that on the contrary the culture and the apparatus of the culture of the media the advertising sources continue to prevent alcohol as romantic alcohol as a mark of virility alcohol as consummately attractive the person who drinks has Enhancing already considerable gifts that he or she possesses. I don't think that though. We've begun to sensitize adequately concerning the widespread incidence of the disease are the seriousness of the disease is matter of fact, there is a strong tendency for those close to the suffering person to cover up for his or her behavior. We see this more in executive levels than we see it for the blue collar worker with a blue collar worker comes on the line and his eyes look like two buttholes in the blanket and his hands are shaking as if he had Saint Vitus dance and he's on study. He's highly visible and he sent home but the difficult problem for the executive is that he can Waltz in later than usual the staff that surrounds them secretarial staff assistants report that Mister so-and-so is in conference is not available to handle your business right now mean while mr. So-and-so is in there sipping from a bottle crawling back into his version of good health that is adequate balance within his disease to cope with the making minimal levels of effective decisions for a course of a day how the bigger problem is that of the hiding of the problem in the indulging of the troubled person and his or her own delusions. We have more callers on the line the first Jack and when I get to this question a listener phoned in and asked me to ask you. You mentioned earlier that alcoholism is an insurable illness. Does that mean an employee can get hospitalization and disability compensation benefits under the workers compensation law. There have been cases that have been try the matter is unsettled. There have been hard to find things that the alcoholism was job-related if the job related to if the job connectedness of the disease can be established as a finding of fact most certainly it is a compensable injury or compensable industrial disease under the law and there's no question that the fact situations and certain context it pointed to the job-related character of the alcoholism for instance. Their employers that expected encourage workers to drink particularly. They think that it's part of the building of the business to indulge their customers their clients in the three-martini lunch, but send them out on the road and set up elaborate Hospitality rooms in quotes induce a state of drunkenness in in that particular climate think that they're going to transact more business than they could. Otherwise other people who are directed to carry out. These kinds of activities is a fight at the job can get hooked and if they do as a consequence of those kind of directors of the employer and I think the employer is vulnerable and properly so to a flame of compensable injuries, which he has directly contributed. So on top of all the imagery that is That is pushed by commercials. If you will broadcasting ads that sort of thing that we have industry of perpetuating alcoholism. Maybe that's too strong of a statement. But in some cases where that actually occurs, where are the job situations related directly to alcohol sure. It is taking appropriate Easter or Christmas gift is a case of scotch while we can't can't deny what Jack says. I think that's absolutely true that employers sometimes encourage the use of alcohol at lunch and it Hospitality Suites at Setter. I think that we should make clear however to the listeners that that that the disease alcoholism doesn't always start on the job and that there's much much hidden a much larger population. Probably that's hidden out there who is not drinking do the job stress, but drinking do to other License and do they can track the disease of alcoholism and end up in trouble. So job stress is certainly one of the one of the points but not the only point that leads to alcohol is most certainly we know of kids that become alcoholic before age 10 there in a drinking household. They wander out when the parents are hungover on a Sunday morning and finish up the dibs from glasses tragic, but there are very substantial number of almost incredible cases of sub teens being identified and treated for alcoholism through that kind of phenomena and a good deal of the alcoholism is blamed on the job as part of the delusionary pattern. Alcoholics are recovering have an old saying an alcoholic drinks because it rains drinks when the sun shines drinks when things are good. Thanks for things are not so good. He drinks because he drinks then there's all kind of things that they can blame it on. The job is tough. My husband doesn't understand me. My children are rebellious times are bad. The disease is pandemic, but some percentage of it is pressured by jobs dress and some expressions of alcoholism find a Genesis and the kind of assignments that employers give workers and this has been established. 11 minutes now before the hour and have a listener standing by good morning. Do you have a question alcoholism? Maybe I can rephrase the question. I was going to post that as a definite starting place for a lot of people those wonderful expense accounts and then go on to what do companies. Do you are trying on a alcoholic program but on the other hand have this other kind of Unwritten code abuse. And do they explore themselves? The congregation is such a look to themselves and see what could we cut out in terms of program accounts and expectations of employees. I think that's a gay top fan an excellent question. It goes beyond mere hypocrisies would be simply say that the employer hasn't one hand and alcoholism diversion program and on the other encourages his part of their marketing activity systematic really hypocritical. I like that. The larger question is the total examination of the total management organization in terms of what represents the most consistent and intelligent response. If the employer is encouraging some key Executives to practice on the job absenteeism by just so reporting and letting the staff do his or her work and the other hand offering a program merely fourth the blue collar worker. I think that they're well advised to take a look at the total organization and all of its aspect in function before they can lay claim to having a progressive alcoholism treatment program. Yes, I would agree with Jackie can be there is an apparent dichotomy that that does exist on the other hand clearly one or two drinks for some individuals or not. They're not out of line at certain occasions. And I think that where it's incumbent upon organizations to take a look at themselves and see when they are actually encouraging on the job or job-related drunkenness and parties and and the why cuz I think they really need to have that examine it examine carefully. All right. Do we have I guess our next caller is dropped off. Let me give out our Twin Cities number once more to 211. 550-221-1550. A question about costume touch briefly John early in the program cost I guess I did when I sighted some national statistics can money be saved for the company and accidents reduce through detection in NM treatment has your company determine how much alcohol is in might cost you and wants time conversations. Is it a cost-saving measure to get involved in treatment or very definitely we did a study of our own alcoholic population that match almost one for one with the National Council on alcoholism day that you mentioned earlier. We find that our employees. In fact, I were utilizing the group health insurance at a rate. They'll call it employs utilizing that group health insurance at a rate of 3 times the average employee that hypothesis being there such a few help that person to effective treatment and bring them back to average that you're saving that dollar spent there. We found that those employees were absent more they were using them. Sick leave and vacation how much more than the other employees that their performance was judged to be lower by supervisors subsequently their pay started to slip and so they added the problems start to magnify. So we clearly found in our Workforce there that we met for the that MCA data that you mentioned earlier. I would guess if that's true throughout the nation. I think that that date is very very accurate and it isn't come with the to deal with it. There's a dollar savings or some money that has to be spent to save money. However, you have to provide through your insurance program or through some other means the effect of treatment and diversionary program. We've been talking about but they at spending money to save money and you pay yourself back very rapidly program Bose repair cells back in roughly two years that by not having replace that employed by increased on the job performance reduced use of the group health insurance Etc that we're paying ourselves back in a couple years that's consistent with other programs have been studied. Definite incentive there for management. What's to be made for the union Beyond maybe just a humanitarian games last year at present and to have that resolved for the labor movement is awfully important. You can you imagine how embarrassing get how compromising it is for Union to come forward and a contact where they're trying to create trust in the bargaining relationship where they're trying to create credibility in the in the word of the Union. This is at the heart of all really constructive lyric management relationships are a large Reservoir repository of trusts so that when that business agent or Local Union President says something on Monday at believe because it'll be the same on Thursday. Comes forward that same person has been trying to create that runs of our trust with a management the defend a person who the union representative sincerely believes. To be an alcoholic and should be separated under the contract. And can afford to say to the employer. You know, I'm just going to go through the motions. I had this thing when I represent this person. But what happens is that the alien is caught in such a treacherously schizoid pasture on this issue that it confounds and pollutes the entire Labor Management relationship and all of its aspects. Every one of its aspects of what it means to the labor movement is that they can validate legitimize the economic representational function of a union If Only They can reach with the employer a consultative arrangement. I joint and Cooperative arrangement to deal with the problem of alcoholism and abandon that long last. adversary approach to resolving the issue back to that joint approach. It never fails that 3 minutes before the end of the program all the phone lines light up. We got time for one. Maybe two quick questions. Good morning. You're on the Air Management candidates when when management feels it has an employee that may have a problem. It can be real difficult to to effectively isolate the problem and it convinced the employee that he or she has a problem. I'm wondering what kinds of criteria you would use what kinds of approaches you suggest for management to to deal with the unemployed at that perhaps has a problem. Well in the direct answer to that in the quick answer would be that you really have to look directly at the on the job behavior and job performance. You have to be able to point out the very objective way to the end of a joke where you see problems and failures on the job and and come at it from that point as opposed to hypothesize about personal off the job pavers in a John Deere keeping of the hardest kind of day that when you see a recurring pattern of absenteeism on Mondays early departures on Fridays, when you leave the extra day taken after the holiday pretty soon the hard data accumulates in such a way as you've got a pretty fair handled that the alcoholism or drug abuse is behind this work pattern and if there is a union on the scene that make sense for a supervisor to go to the store and they engage that joint consultation process that brings in counseling leading to diagnose. Thanks for your question. This gets back to the question about workers compensation. But any protection for the worker who doesn't have a union for might be dismissed outright when now the problem is recognizing the small shop courts of law. After all the Supreme Court of the United States says so long ago is 1904 held that like the service is a property right and that a person cannot be dismissed from a job any job without due process civil action is available to any worker that has been separated from employment on the basis that he or she is an alcoholic and alcoholic and it has not been proven. Alright, thank you very much for Force by time constraints to conclude our program at this time. It's going on 11. Thanks for gas Professor Jack Flagler director of Labor education at the University of Minnesota and John Mo control data Corporation.